Perceptions of the World in Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Psychoneurosis Leading to Isolation in “Winesburg, Ohio”
There are people who do not wish to communicate with those around them, or simply do not feel they can. In the novel Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, every character visited has their own perception of the world around them, and what life should be like which is often a far from the truth. Their psychoneurosis is brought about because of the isolation in the small town. Psychoneurosis is a functional disorder where feelings of apprehension, OCD, and complaints of the physique without sign of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality. Usually, psychoneurosis is caused by isolation, a search for truth, and or gender consciousness. The lack of outside communication with the people in the small town of Winesburg causes them to struggle in overcoming their perception of how life should be on their own. When there is no communication there is evidently a lack of guidance, which causes one to form his or her own truths often times being misleading; the individual then holds on to what they believe is true basing their life off of that truth. Without confronting ones problems, the individual has set himself/herself up for helplessness. The idea of psychoneurosis leading to isolation is well demonstrated in several; characters in Winesburg, Ohio. An analysis on psychoneurosis leading to isolation will be further discussed in the characters Tandy Hardy, Wing Biddlebaum, and Alice Hindman.
Critical Analysis
In the short story Hands the main character, Wing Biddlebaum, is forced into isolation due to a traumatic event earlier in his life.1 William L. Phillips states, “The story was one called “Hands.” It was about a poor little man, beaten, pounded,...

... middle of paper ..., the characters fail to convey what they truly are felling. Every person of Winesburg faced a life of isolation. In most cases the solitude of their lives was self-inflicted. This self-punishment was the outcome of a deep hatred towards the characters' perceived differences with the rest of the Winesburg population. All the characters in the small town of Winesburg had different perceptions on life and their own “truths” but they all had one thing in common, the fear of isolation and the need for that connection between something or someone. They let their own issues consume them which prevented the experience of a fully satisfied life and that connection with someone other than themselves. The psychoneurosis in Winesburg was a factor that seemed impossible to overcome causing the level; of isolation to become unreal among the citizens of the small peculiar town.

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